2015-10-31 The Command Line Podcast

This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

Also, I am considering attending Scale in the latter half of January. Whether I go or not, you should check the event out.

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

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Nina Paley’s Kickstarter: Mimi & Eunice Mini-books

Judging from Nina’s pitch video, she has run afoul of one of the limitations I’ve been hearing about Lulu’s otherwise wonderful print-on-demand service–an inability to set pricing below a set floor. Kickstarter fits the bill nicely for her to experiment with an alternate, almost throwback, approach of capitalizing something more like a traditional print run. Her goal is modest and pitching in at the higher levels can net you some nice rewards. I love my signed copy of “Mis-information Wants to Be Free” and am eager to add a signed mini-book to my special collection shelf.

Nina very neatly works into her pitch an educational aspect to the project. She has worked with Question Copyright in the past to develop some catchy, sticky memetic media that cram key ideas about free cultural sharing and against over-aggressive copyright into your ear like a didactic ear worm. The notion of pulling a mini-book out of your pocket at appropriate venues to that same end is appealing–at least to me. I’d actually love to be able to have a handful of these at events where I speak specifically about copyright. Judging by the eventual retail price she’s trying to reach, that’s the very idea, cheap enough to give away.

My First Kickstarter Project! Mimi & Eunice



Just following Nina Paley’s request to pirate share the love of her comic, Mimi and Eunice. Seriously, the thought expressed by Tim O’Reilly that inspired this particular strip still resonates. Especially for a B-lister like me.

Seriously, Mimi and Eunice is a staple of my daily web comic reading. It should be of yours too, whether you love it enough to purchase Nina’s first collection of the comic.

Cartoon Collection from “Sita” Creator

Nina Paley’s latest project has been an ongoing, deceptively simply web comic, Mimi & Eunice. Nina has used the pair of critters, vaguely similar to the ones in her “Copying Is Not Theft” one minute meme, to explore ideas ranging from intellectual poop-erty to religion, from bike helmet (non-)safety to body image. The couple has a frenetic relationship that nicely drives the quick hits of the three panel format while hinting at a more nuanced dysfunction to which most of us should be able to relate.

Nina has collected over two hundred of these comics into a signed collection, “Misinformation Wants to be Free”. In the announcement of the book’s availability, she included a clever animation of panels from the comic. She draws every panel free hand so the consistency of pose demonstrated is pretty remarkable. I love how the background also smoothly animates through the color space.

The book is $20 plus shipping and in addition to the signature, Nina will include a doodle of Mimi or Eunice. She’s been experimenting with ideas for merchandise for the new comic and I think the book is an excellent idea. I’ve ordered mine, the price directly supports Nina’s further creative endeavors. Check out some of the comics, the animation, and considering picking up your own copy.

Nina Paley Turns Down Netflix Streaming of Sita

I’ve repeatedly written about and even interviewed Nina Paley, following the course of her experiment with distributing and commercializing her wonderful, feature length film, “Sita Sings the Blues”. I admire Nina the most for embracing the commercialization of her work and really exploring the space of possible business models that might help earn back her considerable investment. She strikes an incredible balance between supporting the open commons and deriving real monetary value from her work in a way I think is ethically sustainable.

I first became aware of her most recent challenge when she put a call out via Facebook yesterday. She asking for advice on whether she should authorize “Sita” for streaming via Netflix’s online service. At issue is whether the DRM used by the video rental company was a step too far.

She shared a post today offering more details of how this question came up and her thought process around the opportunity. Like Cory Doctorow’s investigations into the DRM used by Audible, she tried to find out if she could first get an exception to the DRM used by Netflix. Failing that, she asked if they would run a pre-roll message indicating the film is available for download, without DRM, and where to find it. That also was a no go.

Ultimately, John Gilmore convinced her that the greater reach of Netflix’s streaming was not worth sacrificing her principles on avoiding DRM as it foils the free spread of works. I love her concluding thought, seeing her bring the same courage and experimental spirit to this question that has guided the film’s spread so far.

What I want to know is, where can we “Sita” fans write to let Netflix know that we would gladly stream the film if only they would offer creators a DRM-free option?

Final Version of “Minute Meme” Released

Nina Paley released the first of a series of “Minute Memes” towards the end of last year. That version of the short, PSA-style video was really only half complete with a scratch sound track that Nina recorded of herself singing the lyrics for the animation.

Today, the final version of the short was released on Question Copyright. Nina mentioned in my interview of her that she had been working with Nick Phelps on this version. I have to say, I think he and Connie Champagne, who provides the vocals, really nailed it.

Nina Paley Interview Around the Web

My recent interview with Nina Paley, cartoonist, animator and free culture activist, has been picked up by a couple of noteworthy sites.

First, shortly after the episode’s release, the site, Against Monopoly, republished my post about the show. This site shares its name and theme with Michele Boldrin’s and David Levine’s book, “Against Intellectual Monopoly“. Boldrin and Levine are also regular contributors to the site. Nina’s very enlightened views on experimenting with non-monopoly models clearly resonated.

Second, Terry Hancock, a regular contributor to Free Software Magazine, transcribed and edited the audio of the interview for release on FSM. I personally didn’t find the audio quality on Nina’s end that bad, for the most part, but for anyone who did, Terry has done Nina and me a huge favor by doing such a great job of it and sharing it so freely. I am also grateful for Terry’s very complimentary introduction to the transcript. I am very proud of the interview and flattered that not only does Nina agree, but Terry adds his own ringing endorsement.

TCLP 2010-02-24 Interview: Nina Paley

This is a feature cast, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

No listener feedback this week.

Due to the length of the interview, there is also no new hacker word of the week this week.

The feature this week is an interview with cartoonist and animator, Nina Paley, creator of “Sita Sings the Blues“. I’ve spoken and written about Nina’s story before, the troubles clearing her use of Annette Hanshaw’s torch songs that led her to work with Karl Fogel at QuestionCopyright.org. In the course of the interview, we also mention the store for “Sita” merchandise , the creator endorsed mark, “Minute Memes“, the “Sita” soundtrack by Todd Michaelsen, “Sita” on a persistence of vision wheel based display, and Bill Cheswick’s poster made from every frame of “Sita”. Sadly, by the time you hear this, you’ll have missed her talk at AU but I discuss it a bit in the intro to this episode.


Grab the detailed show notes with time offsets and additional links either as PDF or OPML. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

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TCLP 2010-02-21 News

This is news cast 206, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, a reminder that CopyNight is Monday and that Nina Paley is speaking at American on Wednesday, the 24th.

This week’s security alerts are the first denial of service attack and botnets attacking each other.

In this week’s news PA school district caught spying on students via laptop web cams (which may be part of a larger trend) resulting in a letter from the school officials who feel they did no wrong though now the FBI and DA are looking into the incidents, an essay on when transparency is useful which is similar to Lessig’s thoughts on the subject, and the 32nd anniversary of the BBS which is clearly a prescursor to the modern internet.

Following up this week leak of details on last ACTA negotation round and the Jacobsen case is finally settled.


Grab the detailed show notes with time offsets and additional links either as PDF or OPML. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.